I must have been about 15 and for me it was a gradual and difficult and probably painful or emotional experience. When I say I lost my faith, I mean I stopped believing in God and stopped going to Mass etc. Since then I've softened from hard atheism but I'll only go to mass for weddings, funerals and christenings (are christenings even mass?)
When I was 12 or 13, I still said my prayers but then I started to think about it and the more I thought about it the less I believed. This would have been around 87/88, so it was before the major allegations about child abuse; though I went to a Catholic school so I got to see the priests occasionally clattering youngfellas.
What about you? Was it an easy thing to do or was it traumatic? And will you go to Mass at Christmas?
On a societal level it seems to me to be a debate that never happened but the nays won anyway.
My turning point came when a group of us were sent to the school nun when we were fifteen. She told us we'd all go to hell if we 'interfered' with ourselves, she also called a guy with long hair the devil. It was the straw that broke the camels back, it was touching myself three or four times a day back then.
When I understood the logic that saying there is a hell gives power to those that preach. It's all about control and I understood that aged about 10. Also the fact when people are worried they pray. I understood this to be a reaction to the fact they are subconsciously afraid we are alone.
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